Caster Semenya can no longer compete In her best events while she appeals a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling that upheld the IAAF’s new rule that bars her.
On Monday, a Swiss Federal Supreme Court judge reversed prior rulings that had temporarily suspended the IAAF rule for Semenya only while she appealed the CAS ruling.
Monday’s decision has no impact on Semenya’s appeal itself, but the two-time Olympic 800m champion can no longer compete in events between the 400m and mile as she was allowed to do in June and July.
The Swiss court reasoned that it has limited power of review, “is by no means a Supreme Court for Sports” and that, on that basis, “Semenya’s appeal does not appear with high probability to be well founded.”
Though world championships in Doha are not for another two months, Semenya is already saying she will not defend her title from 2017.
“This will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned,” she said in a statement.
A release from Semenya’s team stated that the Swiss Supreme Court “emphasized the strict requirements and high thresholds for the interim suspension of CAS awards and found that these were not fulfilled.”
The IAAF rule that Semenya is trying to strike would bar her from races between 400m and the mile unless she takes testosterone-suppressing measures, under which she would be allowed to return to those distances after six months. Semenya refuses to take those measures.
Semenya first appealed to CAS, which on May 1 ruled in favor of the IAAF. Semenya then appealed the CAS decision to the Swiss Supreme Court, which at first allowed her, but not others with her condition of difference of sexual development (DSD), to compete pending the appeal’s outcome.
Semenya has won 31 straight 800m races dating to 2015. All three Rio Olympic 800m medalists have said they are affected by the new rule. Semenya raced once while the Swiss Supreme Court allowed her to, winning the Pre Classic on May 30.
“First chapter of my life done, looking forward to my second chapter,” Semenya tweeted earlier Tuesday.
The IAAF said it will continue to maintain that, ‘There are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump gender identity, which is why the IAAF believes (and the CAS agreed) that the DSD Regulations are a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of protecting fair and meaningful competition in elite female athletics.”
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